This collection of articles brings together many writers on the Net and Cyberspace in one volume. This volume examines the arrival of E-mail and online discussion groups, and considers the prospects for an "online world" - a playground for virtual bodies in which identities are flexible, swappable and disconnected from real-world bodies. The book: systematically describes the development of the Internet, including its history in the military-industrial complex, and the role of state policies leading, for example, to the creation of Minitel and the building of information superhighways; traces the rise of virtual conviviality and how it appears about to replace physical encounters between actors in public places, which will become the sole preserve of the homeless; and explores the development of this technology as a commercialized leisure form and a forum for underground political organization and critique.
Rob Shields lectures in Culture and Communication at Lancaster University and maintains links with Carleton University, where he is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology. He is author of Places on the Margin (1990) and Lifestyle Shopping (1993), and co-editor of Social Engineering: The Technics of Change (1995). CONTRIBUTORS OUTSIDE WESTERN HEMISPHERE David Chaney Durham University Sadie Plant University of Birmingham Mike Featherstone Goldsmiths, UK Andre Lemos Universite Paris V